Singapore is an easy train ride away from Kuala Lumpur and if it wasnâ€™t for the immigration service (yes, again) a hassle free trip. I arrive in Singapore in the late afternoon and after a much needed fast food meal I make my way to the city centre in search of a hostel. I canâ€™t seem to find any decent prized rooms anywhere; every dorm is full and every single or double room is prized over 60 Singapore dollars, or thirty euros; more than I ever had to pay on my trip, including places in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Eventually I find a place in a â€˜hostelâ€™ which is more like a hotel on Waterloo Street on the north bank. Itâ€™s a crappy place and in no means worth the fifty dollars Iâ€™m paying for it. As itâ€™s quite late by now thereâ€™s no time to look for another, cheaper place; I will just have to pay up.
Itâ€™s not just accommodation thatâ€™s expensive in Singapore; everything is. Iâ€™m paying a ridiculous six euros per beer, a record for me; food and clothing (though sales are on everywhere) is the same. The cost is the only downside though. Singapore is beautiful place, well managed, clean and efficient. Everything seems right in Singapore. Is there a thing as too well managed? Iâ€™m not sure, but if there is it applies to Spore. In spite of all the rules, fines and regulations it seems like an awesome place to live, granted you have the cash.
While walking Singaporeâ€™s streets I try to compare the city to that other major Asian hub I visited: Hong Kong. Biggest comparison between the two: shopping. Everywhere and anytime, mega malls come to your wardrobeâ€™s rescue. Style, Sale, ca-ching and how-do-I-look are everyday lingo. I fell in love with Hong Kong but donâ€™t feel that way (yet?) about Spore. True, I spent more time in Honkers, but for me the magical touch of HK was the head on collisions and mergers between the east and west that you could see everywhere. Singapore seems much more western and while both cities have been governed by the British, english speakers in Hong Kong are a lot harder to come by than in Singapore, where everyone speaks English. It adds to the exotic â€˜far awayâ€™ feeling of Hong Kong tremendously. Singapore feels a lot more â€˜normalâ€™. I should take into account the fact that Iâ€™m visiting Singapore at the end of my Asia trip, and I visited Hong Kong at the beginning. Ah well. Theyâ€™re both great places to be and hang out. So while not the love of my life like Hong Kong, Singapore would be my beautiful girlfriend on the side. How do you like that for a metaphor?
After a lonely night on my three square meter fifty dollars room Iâ€™m determined to find a real hostel. After a couple of hours I manage to secure the last bed in the Fern Lodge hostel in Chinatown which has a, lo and behold, western style dorm room. You hardly find these anywhere in Asia, save China. I immediately make friends with Nach from Spain and Steven from Taiwan. We talk some about China and Taiwan and later in the night they join me for a beer at the Clinic, a bar Iâ€™ve wanted to visit ever since I read about it. Horribly expense but oh so cool, the Clinic is a clinic (surprise!) themed bar in the middle of trendy Boat Quay. You sit in wheelchairs, drinks are served in IV drips and the lighting comes from operation room style lights. Itâ€™s brilliant. Although Iâ€™ll have to deduct some points for the waitresses not wearing nursesâ€™ uniforms, the Clinic still scores really high on my list. Nach, Steven, me and the beer tower share a great night in the middle of Singaporeâ€™s trendiest area. What a fine city! Itâ€™s also the place where I meet Mike (innotech) the next night. We meet at the Clinic for drinks before we head to Holland Village for a delicious dinner with all of Singaporeâ€™s delicacies. We talk travel, life, commitment, itâ€™s an awesome night and Mikeâ€™s a great guy. You couldnâ€™t wish yourself a more funny and generous host. We fill the last tiny spot in our bellies with ice cream before we head back downtown. I had a blast Mikey, and Iâ€™ll see you at the end of the year!
A new day dawns. Another twenty-four hours to spend, another morning, afternoon, evening and night. This day is non distinguishable from any others, except for the fact that itâ€™s my last one travelling solo. Itâ€™s the end of days. This is it, after today my trip is over. Iâ€™ve got thirty-five day holiday with my family in Australia left but definitely donâ€™t regard that as part of my trip. On the one hand I want to see my parents and brother and sisters, on the other hand Iâ€™m dreading the moment; it will mark the definitive end. Itâ€™s a holiday, fully designed, organized and paid for by my parents. Not comparable in any way to what I did in the last eight months.
I walk along Singaporeâ€™s streets, bridges, the quays and enjoy myself. Itâ€™s a beautiful day in a beautiful city. Lifeâ€™s good, but every time I think about today being the last of my trip I become sad. Slowly I make my way towards St. Andrews Cathedral. In a sense is this churches counterpart in Sydney the place where it all started for me. St. Andrews to St. Andrews, 2006-2008. It seems a proper place to say goodbye to my trip and think things over.
From November 07 to July 08 I lived a dream, found myself, found others, discovered new pieces of the puzzle they call life and learned. About relationships, love, myself, friends, communicating, having to do it yourself, money, everything. I also learned about beer, apples, flying, riding a motor, entertaining myself. The last eight months were the best of my life. Here in St. Andrewsâ€™ in Singapore I promise myself that it doesnâ€™t end here. If Iâ€™ll have to go back to Holland for a bit, fine. Iâ€™ll be living towards my next escape. My next span. Whether itâ€™ll take me one of two year to replenish my funds, I donâ€™t know. What I do know itâ€™s not over. Oh no.
Take a look at what you started
In the world flashing from your eyes
And you know that youâ€™ve got it
From the thunder you feel inside
I believe in the feeling
All the pain that you left to die
I believe in believing
In the life that you give to try
I believe in a wonder
I believe this new life to gain
Like a guard that Iâ€™m under
Thereâ€™s a drugs running through my veins
I believe in a wonder
I believe I can touch the flame
Thereâ€™s a spell that Iâ€™m under
Got to fly, I donâ€™t feel no shame
The world is mine
The world is mine
The world is mine
Iâ€™ve lost my fears to what appears
I do my best, the world is mine
You seen surprised and realize
That in your eyes, the world is mine
David Guetta - The world is mine